there are some nice low poly water tutorials on the web. However, they’re all based on DDX and DDY which are both not available on mobile.
I made some experiments with a basic box mesh and tesselation and it looks kinda fine:
…but as soon as I build the lighting it looks like this:
Question 1: Does anyone know why the lighting removes all the shadows (and the low poly style)?
Question 2: How would you create and animate low poly water on mobile?
Your question is a little bit under-specified to answer generally. There are many ways to give the effect of water, depending on the art style you’re going for.
You can make water as a simple flat plane, with two or three textures on it, that blend together, with texture coordinate animation.
It all depends on what you really need – do you need the water waves to move up and down in world space? If so, perhaps build a morph target in 3ds Max for that animation?
I don’t use textures in my “art style”. It’s a very basic low poly style with single colors. Here’s a similar example based on DDX and DDY:
Morph Targets (or Shape Keys in Blender) might be the way to go, thanks for the suggestion. If anyone knows a better solution, please let me know.